Friday, February 03, 2006

The Arab world's double standards

You know, most people figure that for each and every person to get along, you've gotta give a little and take a little.

You might want to argue over small things that annoy you, but you should try and let it go. You also gotta think twice before doing something that will directly hurt another person.

If everyone had thicker skin and a bit of sensitivity, then there probably wouldn't be any long lasting conflicts, especially those involving any violence.

But.. problems arise when one side believes in violent jihadi retribution, doesn't tolerate any criticism and doesn't respect the rights of other nations, cultures or religions. So it ain't gonna help much if Western culture has skin as thick as anything and bends over backwards to be politically correct and sensitive to Arab culture. Nothing exemplifies this much better than the young, mainly white, French teenagers marching in a demonstration against inequality, who were assaulted by black and Arab youths. This quote from a Tunisian teenager shows the mentality behind the attack:

Heikel, who attends a secondary school in the area, told Le Monde that the mainly white Parisian students who took part in the march - known in street parlance as “bolos” - were seen as spoilt and privileged, and therefore fair game.

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. And this week, we saw even bigger examples of Arab rage and anger directed against people who have been friends and supporters in the past. All this over a bunch of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed getting published in newspapers in Denmark, followed by France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Palestinian gunmen surrounded E.U headquarters in Gaza and stormed hotels looking for foreigners to take hostage. Flags of Denmark and Norway were burnt, Danish products face a boycott throughout the Middle East and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have protested against the cartoons. The reaction has been universal outrage in every Muslim country, including Libya and UAE and even Egypt and Jordan. And in a country recently liberated from a dictator's rule:
In Iraq, Islamic leaders urged worshippers to stage demonstrations from Baghdad to the southern city of Basra following weekly prayer services Friday. Afghanistan and Indonesia condemned the drawings, and Iran summoned the Austrian ambassador, whose country holds the EU presidency.
Remember the issue at hand here is a cartoon in a few European newspapers. No bullets fired, no tanks, no rockets or missiles or explosives. No threats of violence. This particular issue is very illustrative of the conflict between the West and the Arab world as a whole. Since the early '70s when Palestinian terrorists went on a hijacking rampage and European leaders across the continent bent over backwards to let them out of prison, right up till today when the global media has endless sympathy towards Palestinian statehood, to the point where they turn a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism, violence, anti-semitism, misogyny and corruption and ignore Israeli historic ties to the territories, calling them "occupied territories" full of "illegal settlements".

The US has poured billions into the middle east peace process. It intervened to prevent Kuwait from being invaded by Saddam Hussein. It helped Afghanistan in its struggle to end the soviet occupation. NATO intervened and removed Milosevic to prevent Muslim's from being slaughtered in Kosovo. Even the most loathed country in the world, Israel, has spent billions developing Palestinian infrastructure, providing food and aid and employment, arming and training the Palestinian police authority during the Oslo accords.

And what do they get in return ?

Terrorism. Suicide bombings. Kidnappings in Iraq. Beheadings. Friday sermons delivered in mosques calling for death to all infidels. Burning of flags. Rage... and more rage. When France-2 broadcasted images of Mohammed Al-Dura being shot throughout the Arab world, it blamed Israeli soldiers for the death despite evidence to the contrary. Synagogue throughout Europe were attacked and anti-semitism rose drastically. When Newsweek falsely reported stories of a US prison guard desecrating the koran, massive riots took place in Pakistan, with British and US embassies on high security after being the target of attacks and demonstrations.

The Western world has shown that its willing to be sensitive and compromise more often than people realise. Europe, the US and Israel have had a foreign policy based on appeasement for decades. The Arab world has reacted violently to the smallest of incidents, some of them imaginary.

Leftists always suggest that the solution to the conflict involves more dialogue. Well theres only one message the Western world should be sending out: Stop getting so easily enraged and offended. Stop resorting to violence. We aren't your enemy so stop treating us like one.